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Vancouver Olympics open under a cloud after fatal luge accident


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Ugh, only in Canada could we screw up lighting the Cauldron. Our nod to Spinal Tap and the pod not opening in time. :D

Still, it was a good ceremony.

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The luger's death was sad and a stark reminder that life is precious and winning isn't everything. Kudos to Rogge, Furlong and the rest of the organizers for taking the time to honour the fallen athlete. This was something they did not plan for in all those countless hours of rehearsals. And it was too bad that one of the cauldrons didn't go up as expected. But overall it was a pretty spectacular ceremony.

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Good to see that the ceremony went off well, hopefully things will go off reasonably smoothly. But right now, things are kind of in the balance. The ridiculous bobsled/luge track has to be made safer obviously, and there is also the lack of snow. How they could have put the freestyle and snowboarding at Cypress without having a back-up plan to move to Whistler if necessary is unbelievable (for any natives like me at least). Then you have the fact that it is massively over-budget and that the security is over the top (and who is paying for that???)

It may also turn out to be not such a bright idea to invite the world to the supposed "world's most livable city", so they could see up close the crap weather, the urban poverty, and the idiotic drug wars . None of that is news to me, but doesn't really fit with the blue skies, mountains, and water travel magazine photos, so it is news to everybody else.

And I won't even start on the hockey, other than to say the expectations in Canada are ridiculous. There are at least 4 or 5 countries with an even chance to win, and only one is Canada. I hope it doesn't happen, but we are setting ourselves up for a very hard fall.

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So sad for the boy from Georgia. I feel so sad for his parents and relatives, Olympics is an event for joy, and such a tragedy happened in its beginning! It is hard for his family to watch all the smiling and jumping athletes and people in the opening ceremony. I thought the opening ceremony should be cancelled or delayed out of respect for the man who died and his family.

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The song "Hallelujah" felt like it was sang as part of a vigil for the dead athlete. It was nice.

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I wonder if the canadian team officials who barred foreign teams from extended pre olympic track tests are feeling a little responsible today for the crash.

0 ( +0 / -0 ) has a very comprehensive overview of the proceedings, way better than Canadian media are doing. Too much self-congratulation ongoing it seems.

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"The overall favorites include Germany and the United States — which finished first and second four years ago in Turin — and also Canada"

The "Americans" favorites ? Nonsense- Canadians and Americans enjoy a very healthy rivalry, this is on Cnadian soil- they (the Canucks) are the obvious favorites, along with Norway and of course the Russians- who have targeted 40 medals !

Personally, I enjoyed bits and pieces of the opening ceremony. The virtual floor breaking into pieces to reveal an ocean full of whales and fish was the highlight- wow factor 10+ !

The singing, the irish jig, the wire spinning- coulda cared less- but Nelly Furtdo looked great in that skin tight dress... Ahhh, North American women with all their curves !

The torch lighting is always special- nice touch by the Canadians, reminding people of human error, as the final cauldron failed to rise from the floor. I actually enjoyed that- not like the sanititized fakeness of Beijing, this had a homeness about it- yeh the biscuits are burnt a little- but that didin't spoil the welcome party one bit. From your neighbour to the South I say "well done" Canada- now let the games begin !

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but Nelly Furtdo looked great in that skin tight dress... Ahhh, North American women with all their curves !

Nelly Furtado in that dress compared to the typical shapely North American or European star is like comparing an armored car to a Corvette. She looked and moved as gracefully as a tank.

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The lugers are probably the most exposed as far as lack of protection. Still, didn't know someone could literally fly off the track. It may have been determined to be human error, but these ARE humans, not machines flying down the course at 90 mph. Of course there are going to be human errors, but they shouldn't be life threatening. I think the IOC is trying to spare Vancouver of any more embarrassment and a potential lawsuit.

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Looked pretty awesome to me. Of course there was a major error in the end, but what the hell better way to remind you that nothing's perfect; and only people who were told there's an error would know.

Good opening; perfect for the venue (minus the screw up).

I do feel very terrible about the death of the luge athlete. It is a major shame. But I swear not even a day before we were talking about the dangers. The Luge is a dangerous sport. 21 is a horribly young age to die. Awful. That will haunt the games, but these things happen.

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Brave, gallant soul... RIP Luge is one scary sport...

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The last athlete to die at an Olympic event was in 1972 I believe. And they were killed by terrorists. Vancouver should be ashamed of itself for being the first place to see a death, lack of good weather for the event and screwing up the opening ceremony. but some will come here and cite "we are just human" to explain away these screw ups. Funny how they can't see that with other major events in the last 10 years.

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Overall, the opening ceremonies were nice. Bad gaffe with the non-functioning pole (which was obvious since you could see one torch-bearer standing around looking lost), but the camera angle of the flame lighting covered it quite well. Sad to hear about the Georgian luge athlete. My condolences to his family and teammates. Reading about this new track, I feel that the Vancouver Olympic Committee has a lot of answering to do. They clearly designed the track for only more speed, without proper safety measures in place. Crashes like this happens, but shouldn't cause the death of someone.

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Unbelievable as to why they couldn't put some sort of padding around those metal poles.

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To the family of Nodar, my heart cries for you. It wasn't his fault. I know that a lawsuit won't bring back your son but you should go for it so these types of accidents don't happen again.

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